Author Topic: Vacationing to a warmer spot.... need someone to help me do it in an MMM fashion  (Read 3914 times)

greenmimama

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We are thinking of taking a vacation to a warmer climate this year, probably in Feb.

We only have no other debt except our mortgage and we can pay cash for this endeavor.

We have 3 young boys and their favorite part of going anywhere is swimming, so we aren't thinking Disney or anything really expensive, maybe a day at LegoLand, we are thinking FL because well it's warm there and we don't need passports and we can drive.

I was thinking of driving down with the boys and renting a place for about a week, then my DH flying down to spend another week with us and then we could all drive back together, I figure we will save quite a bit in airfare and since we would rent a vehicle while we are there it could really be great to just have our own with the carseats already in and such.

I have been checking out AirBnB for rentals or VRBO.

Anyone have any great ideas for doing this on the cheap?

I think driving, and packing food for the trip and going to the grocery store once we are their since we will hopefully rent a place with a kitchen, so we can just eat out a few times for fun at places we really want to instead of just eating out because we are hungry.

Do any of you own rentals that we could look at or can speak from experience in having rented one you would recommend?

cashstasherat23

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It is not much, but if you go with AirBNB you can use this code for $25 off your rental: www.airbnb.com/c/kwasilewski5?s=8

Other than that, I would say that my biggest expense when traveling is always eating out, so as much grocery shopping/budget eating as possible will help keep costs down.

greenmimama

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It is not much, but if you go with AirBNB you can use this code for $25 off your rental: www.airbnb.com/c/kwasilewski5?s=8

Other than that, I would say that my biggest expense when traveling is always eating out, so as much grocery shopping/budget eating as possible will help keep costs down.

Thanks, I might very well go with them and then use that code.

cashstasherat23

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I will say that I have had nothing but great experiences with AirBNB the few times I have used them-Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles, and will be taking another trip next week to Quebec. I've stayed in some beautiful homes for way cheaper than a hotel. Just make sure that you read the reviews and communicate with the host about expectations!

Another idea for you would be credit card churning-could you use credit card miles to pay for your husband's flight, or cash back to pay for some expenses? Another real life example-I just signed up for a checking account with Chase bank, set up direct deposit, and got a $300 bonus for doing so, that will be going to pay for expenses for my upcoming Quebec trip. Not exactly a tip to travel frugally, but can help offset any expenses you do incur!

greenmimama

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I do have some credit card miles, but a one way flight back home is about $100, so I figured it would actually be better to pay cash and use the points for a more expensive flight.

SailAway

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We did a family driving trip this year to South Carolina. We rented an off-beach house I found on VRBO. Being able to cook instead of eat out made it MUCH more affordable. My in-laws went, too, and drove separately. We actually borrowed their minivan, as the kids were not keen on an 11 hour drive in the Prius. Ahem. Kids. WTF I drove from Detroit to Alberta with like 7 people in a small station wagon when I was a kid. But I digress.

Try to find a place with parks or some other free or low-cost entertainment instead of just high dollar venues. Kids will want to "do" stuff constantly on vacation and this can rack up quickly. The house I rented had a free community pool located just across the street. Also, we took our bikes and biked around the island for entertainment.

KiloRomeo

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Daytona, St Petersburg, Palm Beach, Fl Keys....all good options. Don't go grocery shopping all the time, some of the best parts of traveling is experiencing the food.

lr

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On renting the car: My approach is to pack light and do laundry, which is somehow much more fun to do on vacation than at home, in order to rent the smallest car possible. They rarely have the econoboxes, and the top companies are basically pricing fronts for one or two megacorps, so you usually get a midsize car for the lowest price once you arrive, assuming you booked online.

My SO still overpacks for the family, but I've gotten it down to the trunk of a Mazda3. Having less junk to carry makes my vacations so much easier.

Bob W

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If you're thinking about swimming in the Gulf or Atlantic it is very cold in February.  The boys will not enjoy it at all.   So be sure to book a place with a nice aquatic center,  not just a pool.  Or at least far enough south that you can use a nice city park.  (if open in Feb?)

Look for places off beach for the best rates.

And negotiate hard.   Make an offer on the place you want that is far below ask.   If rejected just keep waiting to book.   You best deals will be booked the day before you arrive.

Also,  consider staying away from Presidents day weekend as that is considered a holiday weekend by many and rates will be firmer at that time.

Have a blast!

JeffC

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VRBO is a pretty great way to vacation. I just got back from a large family reunion type vacation to Mission Bay in San Diego and it was fantastic.  The most important thing is that the quality of vacation is so much higher when you don't have to constantly alternate between finding places to eat and huddling in a tiny hotel room.  I prefer cooking anyway, and with a slew of kids, it is impossible to enjoy eating out more than maybe once during a vacation. We never did end up eating out, and fed the 12 of us for about $100 per day, which is not bad, considering we were eating steaks and drinking local microbrews the whole time. I can't even fathom the bill had we all eaten out all week like we would have to in a hotel.

One thing that made this last trip so great was that it was a place on the beach and it came with a whole bunch of toys for kids, ranging from a fleet of bikes to several kayaks, stand up paddle boards, surf boards, wet suits, etc to even the simple things like some buckets for making sand castles.  There was 7 adults and 5 kids and we all had plenty of fun activities at our disposal that cost no extra money.  Out of curiosity I got a pamphlet from the rental place on the bay and found that, had we rented the bikes, kayaks and paddle boards for the amount of time we ended up using them, it would easily have cost 1000+ dollars for the week!Of course we wouldn't have paid that, we would have just had a much less active and engaging vacation.  We would be wishing we had a kayak or bikes, or sand castle stuff, etc.

So I would say, look for a place that specifically mentions that it has water toys and things for kids.  These are pretty common in places that have a whole economy based on VRBOs like (in Florida) Sanibel/Captiva islands, the keys, etc. Some places cater to adult crowds with fancy sleek designs while others cater to families and load the houses up with fun stuff.  Also, if you can find something in a good walkable neighborhood, the hassle of driving places will be lifted.  We were 2 blocks from the grocery store and did not drive at all for 7 whole days and that alone made it truly a wonderful vacation.   


« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 03:40:05 PM by JeffC »

greenmimama

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If you're thinking about swimming in the Gulf or Atlantic it is very cold in February.  The boys will not enjoy it at all.   So be sure to book a place with a nice aquatic center,  not just a pool.  Or at least far enough south that you can use a nice city park.  (if open in Feb?)

Look for places off beach for the best rates.

And negotiate hard.   Make an offer on the place you want that is far below ask.   If rejected just keep waiting to book.   You best deals will be booked the day before you arrive.

Also,  consider staying away from Presidents day weekend as that is considered a holiday weekend by many and rates will be firmer at that time.

Have a blast!
good point, thank you

MayDay

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We just got back from a week in ft. Lauderdale. The house we rented had a pool which was so nice! The kids would swim all hours, and we could just step out back and have our morning coffee while supervising them.

Ocean temp was 71-73 and air was 80-85. That's plenty warm enough for us to swim in the ocean, but my kids prefer a pool. We did two beach days and the pool about 5 times a day.

Siobhan

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Anyone in the family military?  If so you can rent on post housing for $75 a night or 115 for a 3 bed townhome in Key West.  We just came  back from there and it's awesome.  Tons of other discounts on the island for military and both options have kitchens.